It had been a big week and my husband, Luke, came to my rescue by providing space and time for me to be alone by taking the children out.
As always, my first use of time was in getting much-needed cleaning done. You know, the stuff that you try to do when the kids are around, but learn that it’s not worth doing when they are around because it’s undone before you’re even finished.
After a few jobs were ticked off the list, I decided that there must be a better way for me to use this time. I live on the Gold Coast, it was a beautiful day, I had nothing but time and I was cleaning? That may be a sign of insanity.
So, I quickly changed, jumped in the car, headed to the beach and got serious about “me time”.
My thought was that I’d take a little stroll, get some fresh air, maybe sit on the sand for a bit and then head to a coffee shop for a treat. The voice in my head made that sound like perfection.
I started walking, clicked on my running app to credit the brief exercise to my account, and as I breathed in the fresh, cool air, felt the sand under my feet, heard the crash of the ocean and saw nothing but beach before me, I allowed my mind to wander.
My mind’s not often given this space without interruption. I started a thought and followed it through the rabbit holes of processing to reach a conclusion. Then I started another thought, then another, and another.
I’d forgotten how good it felt to allow my mind to think. To truly and rationally think things through. To know what my actual opinion is and be able to explain it. I feel like my intelligence took a big hit four-and-a-bit years ago and hasn’t quite recovered. But, I was reminded that it’s still there. My brain still functions.
Having said that, in the midst of this process, one major hole in my thinking appeared. I seem unable to do two things at once.
As I succeeded in thinking, I failed at moderation. When I stopped to take stock of where I was on my stroll, it turned out I was nearly 5km from where I started. And I still had to walk back to my car!
But then, I thought about it on the way back, and realized how lucky I was to have the space to accidentally walk 10km, along the beach on a glorious day. More than that, I became thankful to have burnt over 2500 calories. Now, to start thinking about that coffee shop and the extra treat I’ve earnt….